Erinyes, Mousai or Garlic Dills?

Kage Baker has been in my dreams a lot lately. Behaving rather strangely, too.

I wish I dreamed of her more often. But I don’t. Often, I have dreams where I know (in the dream) that she is around somewhere – I am usually trying to meet her, or find her, or somehow get to where she is … but I never do. And it’s usually while we’re trying to build for a Renaissance Faire, so there is a lot of around somewhere to hide her. Still, there’s a certain comfort in believing, even for the duration of a dream, that she is just over at Mullah’s, and I’ll catch up to her in a few minutes.

That’s something I dream about a lot. Also, that popular mainstay of sad stories, where you wake up and realize that someone’s death is itself a bad dream and not real at all: until you really wake up and find yourself 6 years older and Kage still dead. Oh, and you didn’t win the Lottery, either.

Lately, though, Kage has been a bit more literally visible in my dreams; and she’s been in a really peculiar mood. A few nights ago, I was hunting for her all over Faire – various friends kept coming up and advising me not to search for her, as she was angry at me. Now, a lot of the rest of this dream was arrant nonsense (like a dear friend in her Queen Elizabeth gown, driving Father Christmas’ sleigh from Dickens Fair through the summer streets of Chipping-Under-Oakwood), so I ignored everyone and kept hunting. But when I found Kage – she wasn’t angry, precisely, but she was too busy to wander around with me.

She was transformed, too:  much, much taller than me, and dressed in a tunic and skirt of russet silk embroidered with Celtic knot work and Greek keys. Her hair was cropped short and standing round her head like flames. There were  flames in her eyes, pupils like candles, and she wore boots of white stone, also all worked with knots and chains. There were chains of opals and padparadscha sapphires round her neck. She told me she had just sold a new novel that was going to be a marvellous scandal and a best-seller, and she was going through the Faire buying everything she had ever wanted with the advance on a gift card.

So she was busy, too busy to talk to me. She told me to get busy, too.

This has bothered me for days. The year 2015 was pretty much a dead loss for me, creatively, and I feel both guilty and persecuted about it. Am I making scary finger puppet shadows on the walls of my skull?

Maybe my unconscious has cast Kage as a Muse, annoyed because I’ve not accomplished much in the last year. Or maybe, against all odds – because I think she has better things to do at the moment – Kage is vengeful about my sloth and is kicking me to get my life back on track. Or maybe I just really have to stop eating kosher dill pickles late at night.

Last night, now … last night we were getting breakfast at one of those hotel breakfast bars where there are giant dispensers of various cereals and toppings for self-service. And Kage was encouraging me to sprinkle pearls and gems all over my Shredded Wheat. When I ate them, they were awfully crunchy and hard to chew – but they tasted like being 17 years old, like rose petals and sea foam and chrysanthemums in the rain …

I started my online screen writing class today. Tomorrow I am going to finish editing an old novel called Knight and Dei, and mail it off to my agent.

I wonder what I’ll dream  about tonight?

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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7 Responses to Erinyes, Mousai or Garlic Dills?

  1. Atalanta Pendragonne says:

    I hope last night’s dreams were good ones!
    I had to look up Padparascha sapphires and oh my, they’re lovely!
    Unrelated, but have you heard of the perfume company Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab? When they announced a limited edition blend (which mercifully does not appeal to me – it’s going for $24 a bottle, but their LEs can go for startling amounts on the secondary market) they’ll be selling at an upcoming event, I squealed a little at the name because I recognized it from SKY COYOTE –
    Long before the gods of cinema turned their celluloid eyes to the streets of Los Angeles, Chinigchinix, He Who Enforces the Law, stalked Southern California. With the aid of his eyes – Crow, Mountain Lion, Bear, and Rattlesnake – he watches over the ancient people of California, ensuring that they behave in accordance with correct moral codes.

    Black copal and white sage with chaparral, beach saltbush, pearly everlasting, fire poppy, and white flowering currant.


    • Kate says:

      My, that perfume sounds yummy! And the name is wonderful, too. So glad to introduce you to padparadschas, too – they were one of Kage’s favourite gems, and are one of the loveliest little-known jewels I know. Kage’s Mom found out about them on an art show, where she sold paintings for 3 days in front of a jeweler who specialized in them … she came home from that show with See’s chocolates and orange sapphires.

      My dreams were weird, but alas – no Kage. Sort of normal background radiation dreams, where I dream about trying to get a Faire built somewhere peculiar. It must be my default state!


      • Atalanta Pendragonne says:

        I shared on the knowledge of padparadschas with my Tumblr followers as well, so I am not the only one to have learned of their loveliness today thanks to you! See’s chocolates and orange sapphires sounds like a splendid haul.
        If you’re fond of good-smelling things, BPAL is well worth a peek – if it wasn’t so tough for me to get to the post office these days I’d offer to send you a selection of sample vials from my years of collecting! They have lots of blends inspired by various deities, paintings, poems, books… whole collections themed around steampunk and old-fashioned carnivals… and probably later this week, the Valentine’s Day (or, rather, Lupercalia) scents will go up! I’ve got a huge weakness for their chocolatey scents, and if they do Shunga-themed blends again this year my wallet may be in trouble 🙂


  2. Kate says:

    Oh, I’m familiar with Black Phoeniex’s work – I have a few vials of various scents myself. Lovely stuff. Floral musks, lilies and roses, are among the things they do well.


    • Atalanta Pendragonne says:

      Oh, excellent! I love their rose scents as well, and I keep hoping they’ll do more with carnation (an underrated floral IMO) and cardamom.


      • Kate says:

        I agree about carnation – especially the scent from the little, dark red ones, the spice drop carnations. When I was a child – back in the Pleistocene -there were packets of assorted bubble bath that we would get at birthdays and Christmas: little girl toiletries. And they were old, old-fashioned scents – tuborose, sweet peas, gardenia, and that particularly wonderful carnation scent. We loved those things!


      • Atalanta Pendragonne says:

        Possets’ Silver Carnations has some good reviews, and is still up on their site. I’ve been tempted to try it, but all the Possets blends I’ve tried have vanished on my skin. I could have sworn I Smell Good had a carnation, but if so, it’s been discontinued.


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